Friday, August 31, 2012

Sounders defeat Caledonia AIA 3-1; Close in on a second straight Champions League Quarterfinal birth

By Money Mike

The Seattle Sounders have inched closer to a second straight CONCACAF Champions League Quarterfinal birth. Last night, the Sounders defeated Caledonia AIA 3-1 and are only one win away from clinching a place in the Quarterfinal stage of the Champions League. The Sounders next Champions League match won't be until September 19th when they travel to Honduras to take on C.D. Marathon. Both these teams have faced eachother twice in the group stage of the 2010-11 Champions League. The first meeting was in Honduras with Marathon coming out on top 2-1. The second match was here in Seattle with the Sounders returning the favor and winning 2-0.

In the 10th minute of the match, the Sounders should've been a goal up. Mario Martinez was making his first competitive start for the Sounders and he whipped in a great cross to the far post for a free header from Sammy Ochoa, but his header was saved by Glenroy Samuel as it bounced off his face.

In the 25th minute, Caledonia failed to clear the danger and they gave the ball away in their own area as Ozzie Alonso stepped in and from about 19 yards away fired his shot low and hard with his left foot, but it didn't trouble the goalkeeper and it was an easy save for Samuel.

In the 36th minute, Michael Gspurning found himself under a bit of pressure. Kareem Joseph whipped in a high lofted ball to the far post which started to dip as it came down, and Gspurning had to punch the ball away because there was a player ready to head the ball into the goal or at least put home the rebound if he had any chance.

A few minutes later, Alex Caskey took the corner kick for the Sounders. Glenroy Samuel came out and tried to punch the ball away and the ball bounced to Marc Burch at the far post. Burch looked to take advantage of the goalkeeping mistake but his shot was blocked as Caledonia had four guys on the line to clear the ball away.

In the 45th minute, the Sounders found the breakthrough. Zach Scott made a run forward from his right back position and worked a give and go with Sammy Ochoa, although it was nearly broken up after Ochoa nearly had trouble controlling the ball. Scott got the return as squared the ball across to the near post for Alex Caskey to tap it in for his third goal in all competitions this season and the Sounders took the lead in Trinidad 1-0.

About five minutes into the second half, Caledonia should've pulled level. There was nice through ball played into the area. I don't know who played that ball, I think it might have been Stephan David. Anyway, there was a ball played through and Cornelius Stewart got onto it, but somehow he put it wide.

In the 60th minute, the Sounders doubled their lead and looked to be walking away with all three points. Fredy Montero picked up the ball from Ozzie Alonso and made a nice cut to get past Radanfah Abu Bakr before laying the ball off to Sammy Ochoa. Ochoa received the ball, settled and from the top of the penalty area ripped his shot into the top left hand corner to make it 2-0 in favor of the visitors.

That was until the 67th minute when Caledonia were awarded a penalty. There was a chip into the penalty area that was intended for Jamaal Gay and Zach Scott appeared to have pulled him down in the area. Referee Javier Santos pointed to the spot immediately, but I didn't think there was enough for that to be a penalty. I thought Gay went down rather easily there. Much like in MLS, CCL officiating has been controversial to say the least. And just like the first Champions League match, Kareem Joseph stepped up to the spot and took the honors for Caledonia AIA and he put his kick inside the left post to cut the Sounders lead in half.

The Sounders responded quickly however and in the 69th minute, they would add a third goal. Alex Caskey made a nice move to get away from Aubrey David and squared the ball across toward the near and Fredy Montero was right there once again to add to his goalscoring tally in all competitions this season and that was the decisive goal for the Sounders as they defeated Caledonia 3-1.

The Sounders turn their attention back to MLS play on Sunday as they head to Frisco to take on FC Dallas.  The Sounders have come away victorious in their last two visits and will look to make it three in a row at FC Dallas Stadium as they chase the San Jose Earthquakes for the Supporters Shield.  Kickoff time is 4pm and will be televised on KONG-TV.

Scoring summary:

Seattle Sounders FC - Alex Caskey (Zach Scott, Sammy Ochoa) 45'

Seattle Sounders FC - Sammy Ochoa (Fredy Montero) 60'

Caledonia AIA - Kareem Joseph (penalty kick) 67'

Seattle Sounders FC - Fredy Montero (Alex Caskey) 69'

Misconduct summary:

Caledonia AIA - Walter Moore (caution; foul) 17'

Caledonia AIA - Densil Theobald (caution; foul) 29'

Caledonia AIA - Jamaal Gay (caution; foul) 71'

Caledonia AIA - Radanfah Abu Bakr (caution; foul) 87'


Seattle Sounders FC - Michael Gspurning; Zach Scott, Patrick Ianni, Jhon Kennedy Hurtado, Marc Burch; Mario Martinez (Cordell Cato 29'), Osvaldo Alonso, Brad Evans, Alex Caskey; Sammy Ochoa (Christian Tiffert 86'), Fredy Montero (Leonardo Gonzalez 74')

Caledonia AIA - Glenroy Samuel; Aubrey David, Nuru Abdullah Muhammad, Radanfah Abu Bakr, Walter Moore; Kareem Joseph, Densil Theobald, Stephan David, Cornelius Stewart (Conrad Smith 72'); Jamaal Gay (Abdallah Phillipsa 84'), Kerlon Ferguson (Trevin Caesar 63')

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